Retailers today are including Buy Online Pick up In Store (BOPIS) in their omnichannel strategy to drive footfall, connect customers’ online and offline experiences and serve them faster. The COVID-19 pandemic boosted BOPIS greatly and it is now here to stay. Customers now expect retailers to offer BOPIS, so you need to understand it and why customers value it.
BOPIS, or Click and Collect, enables consumers to buy online and pick up their orders in-store. They can pick up their order in multiple ways – from the BOPIS or customer service area of the store, curbside pickup, or BOPIS retail lockers.
1.Consumers browse a brand’s inventory online, on their website or mobile app. Once they find an item they want to purchase, they will be given the option to select ‘pickup’ or ‘delivery.’
2.After the order has been placed, a local store will fulfil and keep the item ready for pickup. This usually happens within less than a couple of hours, as store personnel simply have to pluck the item from the shelf and bag it.
3.The customer will visit the store and pick up her order, usually from the area designated for pickup. Usually, there’s a help desk for online orders.
A whopping 67% of US shoppers have used BOPIS. Of these, 49% made additional buys when they picked up their orders in-store. US shoppers spent $72.5 billion through BOPIS ecommerce in 2020, accounting for 9.1% of ecommerce sales. So it’s no surprise that Click and Collect sales are expected to reach $140 billion by 2024.
In fact, half the respondents chose where to purchase online, based on whether or not the in-store pick up facility was available. Over 3 in 4 consumers prefer BOPIS as they can see their purchase before they take it home. The second key factor in choosing Click and Collect was saving on shipping costs.
More than 1 in 3 retailers offer BOPIS to entice shoppers who make additional purchases in-store. However, nearly half the retailers find logistics and inventory tracking to be a challenge while managing Click and Collect.
Retailers are seeing customers choose BOPIS 4X more than they were doing before the pandemic. Convenience is now more important to consumers, than it was five years ago, according to the National Retail Federation. Customers find Click and Collect very convenient, leading to its popularity.
BOPIS retail often gives customers almost VIP level treatment, with skip the line signage, dedicated parking spots, and more. Customers are then more in the mood to shop when they enter the store to pick up their order.
1. No shipping fees –
Although home delivery is convenient, shipping costs are often prohibitive. You can get free shipping if you place a high-value order, but if you just want a few cheaper items, shipping fees often put them out of your budget. Click and Collect enables customers to enjoy the ease of online ordering, minus shipping costs.
2. Quicker service –
Customers usually have to wait days before they get their purchases when they order online, leading to delayed gratification. Many want a same day delivery or next day delivery option, but few retailers offer same day delivery, because of high shipping costs and coordination required. In BOPIS retailers just have to get the item from the shelf, so orders can be ready for pickup within an hour.
3. In-stock insurance –
Often we browse and shortlist items online, only to find that they’re out of stock when we go in-store. Consumers have begun holiday shopping earlier in the year to minimize chances of a shortage occurring. Click and collect is like an insurance against stockouts. Customers are assured that the product they want is available in-store.
1. Extra purchases from customers –
Once consumers enter the store to pick up their BOPIS order, they will take a look at products there too. A well-trained sales team can assist them, leading to more buys.
2. Lower shipping costs –
Retailers don’t need to spend on expensive last-mile delivery or design free shipping offers for home delivery when customers opt for Click and Collect. Shops can simply pull inventory from shelves to fulfil orders.
3. Better inventory management –
Your website needs to show items available in-store for pickup. So, your inventory system should update in real-time for accuracy and enterprise ecommerce platforms can help you do this. You need to monitor your inventory tightly to avoid losing sales.
4. Ultra-fast service –
BOPIS enables retailers to provide lightning speed service, leading to customer delight. There is also less pressure on store staff, as they don’t have to coordinate with the shipping team for order fulfilment.
5. Increased traffic and sales –
Click and Collect encourages customers to add more items to their order, because they know they can pick it up in-store. Since BOPIS increases the footfall in your store, be ready with attractive displays and in-store only offers to spur sales.
6. Improved customer experience –
Consumers are ecstatic when customer service personnel have their order ready and waiting when they reach the store to pick it up. They beat long store checkout lines, which redefines shopping for them.
The famous fashion brand Gap has two new shopping methods on their website – Buy Online Pick Up Curbside, and Buy Online Pick Up In Store. The website gives clear details on how their BOPIS process works.
GAP promises that most orders will be ready in 2 hours for pickup. For curbside pickup, customers let their GAP store associate know they’ve arrived by clicking on the link or calling the number sent to them earlier via email. Then they open their trunk so the associate can put their order inside.
For in-store pickups, customers just need to follow the signs for a store associate to help them. GAP holds items for 5 days after customers place orders online, which is plenty of time for pickup.
Retail giant Walmart offers online grocery pickup, in which customers order groceries online, choose a pickup time, and get their purchase delivered to their car in mere minutes. Their Pickup Today service for electronics, office supplies, toys etc. is a popular buy online pickup in store same day service.
Customers use the Walmart app to inform the store when they’re on their way, so that their items are ready when they arrive. Walmart has also launched Pickup Towers in their stores, where customers scan barcodes sent to their smartphones to pick up items in under a minute.
Walmart even offers Pickup Discounts on online-only items which customers buy online and get shipped to a Walmart store for pickup. This way, Walmart is passing on savings on last mile delivery costs to customers.
Department retailer Nordstrom offers in-store and curbside pickup options to their customers in their Closer to You program. During their 2022 Anniversary sale, order pickup in store went up by 9% compared to the previous year.
“We’re leveraging the assets we have – both digital and physical – to bring our customers more ways of getting product, and more ways of servicing them on their terms,” says CEO Erik Nordstrom. The store uses data analytics to place inventory where it’s in demand, which shortens the time frame on online orders when customers pick them up.
BOPIS enables Nordstrom to offer more convenience to customers when they most need it – during the holiday shopping season. It reduces costs for the company too, so Click and Collect is a win-win.
Home improvement retailer Home Depot saw over 50% of online orders fulfilled by a store in 2020. Their Click and Collect and deliver-from-store options saw triple digit growth during Q1 2020.
Home Depot began installing pickup lockers in their stores in 2018, as part of a three year investment in the business’s future. The lockers are in three sizes, which can fit 60% of the items available in Home Depot’s BOPIS program. Larger items can be collected from the customer service desk.
In 2021, Home Depot expanded their Click and Collect technology to equipment rentals. Customers can check equipment availability and reserve items a month in advance. Tillers, sod cutters, trailers are some of the equipment available in this program. This way, customers shorten their visits to Home Depot rental centers.
The Vitamin Shoppe
A leading retailer of nutritional supplements in the US, The Vitamin Shoppe, was using Oracle Commerce for ecommerce services. They hired Apexon to implement BOPIS as part of their omnichannel marketing strategy.
We have updated The Vitamin Shoppe’s existing process to obtain real time store inventory during checkout, which is a crucial requirement for BOPIS. They also implemented notifications to customers to inform them when their order was ready for pickup.
We also enhanced analytics to provide Buy Online Pickup In Store statistics. With Apexon’s help, The Vitamin Shoppe has rolled out BOPIS to selected stores and will gradually introduce it in their remaining stores.
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A well known US brand, Pet Supermarket specializes in pet food, toys, and other related items. They had introduced BOPIS in a few stores and now wanted Apexon to enhance checkout capabilities with features like pickup near a customer’s location and same day delivery.
Apexon redesigned the checkout flow so that customers could see stores with distances from their location. The Pet Supermarket site now supported three different shipment types – Delivery to customer, Buy Online Pickup In Store and same day delivery.
After these changes, Pet Supermarket saw 100%+ increase in YoY highest sales in the holiday season. Their conversions more than doubled compared to their previous highest sales day. Pet Supermarket’s unique visitors shot up by 50% YoY, from the previous year’s holiday sale period.
When you implement your BOPIS strategy to uplevel customer experience, you need an app or website for ordering, a physical store and real-time inventory capabilities. Ecommerce website platforms with mobile shopping functionality and real-time inventory management are suitable for Click and Collect. SaaS based digital commerce solutions also support BOPIS.
With convenience becoming increasingly important to customers, BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) is here to stay. Adopting BOPIS is a way for you to stay ahead of the competition, by using your store to fulfil orders faster and delight your customers, so that they keep coming back.
At Apexon, we innovate luxury eCommerce websites using technology platforms like Salesforce CX commerce, Oracle commerce, Magento commerce, Sitecore commerce that enhance brand connection on all fronts by using our expertise and experience in line with your goals.